An upper respiratory infection is one of the most common ailments, but a lot of people do not understand them. Just about everyone will have to deal with this issue at one time or another, so it is important that you know the signs of an infection so you can get the treatment you need.
What is an Upper Respiratory Infection?
The upper respiratory tract is comprised of the bronchi, sinuses, nose, trachea and pharynx. These are the parts of the body where air enters and moves to the lungs. If a virus or bacteria enter one of these areas, the chances are good you will develop an upper respiratory infection. If the infection gets into the lungs, that can be a very serious – or even life threatening – problem.
The most common cause of an upper respiratory infection is a virus, so antibiotics will not be effective. The common cold and flu are the viruses that most often lead to infections. The flu kills anywhere from 40,000 to 60,000 people in the U.S. each year. Pneumonia and strep throat are other common infections caused by a virus.
Thankfully, however, the majority of upper respiratory infections are minor and clear up rather quickly with rest and over-the-counter medications.
Warning Signs of an Upper Respiratory Infection
There are several different causes of upper respiratory infections, but the symptoms are very similar. This makes the condition easy to recognize, but can also make it difficult to diagnose because a minor illness will often have the same symptoms as a dangerous ailment. That is why you should always take these symptoms seriously:
- Aches and pains
- Difficulty swallowing
It is very important that you pay close attention to these and other symptoms, and to know when to see a doctor. Get medical help if your symptoms last more than a week, you have trouble breathing, you are in severe pain or you cannot swallow food or even drinks.
Complete Care doctors can provide you with an accurate diagnosis to determine exactly what type of upper respiratory infection you are experiencing, and also provide the effective treatment you need. Get in touch with your nearest location to learn more.